by Ken Streeter,
with input from Scott Fisher, Greg Meboe, and Gary Schneider.
For a description of the basic procedure, you would be best off checking your shop manual. However, if you are having problems with bleeding your brakes, the below hints may help!
Hints on Brake Bleeding.
- You’ve just rebuilt your master cylinder, or have installed a new one, and are having trouble bleeding all the air out.
- You may want to try
bench bleeding your master cylinder
- . This has the advantages of being possible off the car, as well as isolating the problem to the master cylinder (if the bench bleeding is completely unsuccessful.)
- Getting no fluid out of a bleed nipple
- This is going to sound really simple, but is the master cylinder topped off with fluid? It is is surprisingly easy to forget to do this!
If you have fluid in the master cylinder, try removing the bleed nipple entirely and see if you get flow under pedal pressure.
- Case 1. Fluid squirts from line: You have a blocked or corroded bleed nipple, which will need to be cleaned out with an awl or similar pointy tool, or replaced.
- Case 2. Still no fluid: Unscrew the hose at the car side so it doesn’t twist or kink, and see if you get a stream of fluid under pedal pressure. When testing, have a wadded rag over the end of line to catch the fluid – the pressure is great enough to spray the other side of the garage, get in your eye or on your paint, etc. Also, press on the pedal about a dozen times when doing this; if the fluid all drained out of the system before you started bleeding the brakes, (if you overhauled some part of the brake system) it can take a surprisingly long time to pump fluid throughout the system.
- Soft brakes even after bleeding
- You probably still have air in the system somewhere. If you have had parts of the brake system disconnected, ensure that the bleed nipples for the wheel